Hello, sweet friends! Can I just take a minute to say how much I love all of you who read this little, ol’ blog of mine? For reals. Love Grows Wild started as, and continues to be, a way to document my life, passions, and creations, and I’m beyond blessed to have had the chance to grow it into a career that I love. Thank you for helping me make that happen!
But because this is a business and you probably don’t care to hear my entire life’s story every time you jump on my blog, I try to limit how much I share of my personal life. I want to give you the good stuff… awesome project tutorials, inspiring home decor ideas, and of course plenty of crazy, delicious recipes too.
But at the end of the day, I’m not just a business, I’m a person. A mom, wife, sister, daughter, traveler, compulsive organizer, Real Housewives fanatic, coffee addict, and many other things. I want to share little bits of my life with you too, so I decided to start series called Little Bits of Love (get it, Love Grows Wild?) where I’ll share photos, stories, embarrassing moments, awesome recipes I’ve tried, and anything else that I’ve wanted to gush to you about over the past month. Think of us as long-distance friends, and we’re having our once-a-month phone chat to catch up on life. Sound like a plan? Right here, once a month, Little Bits of Love. So grab a drink and let’s chat!
The Mud Fight
Probably one of my favorite moments from this past month happened when my two boys, Alec, 8, and Wyatt, 4, got caught red-handed in the middle of an epic Mud War.
While my boys were riding their bikes one day, they discovered a small patch of mud alongside the driveway. Someone got a little bit of mud on them, which turned into flinging mud at the other one, which quickly escalated into a full-on mud war.
I wondered why they had been quiet for so long, and when I looked out the window to check on them, I saw the utter mess that the front of our house had turned into. I grabbed my camera, told them to smile for a picture, then told them they were going to clean up every bit of the mess they made. I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of these two crazy monkeys of mine… boys will be boys, as they say. But I’m pretty sure they’ll think twice about ever trying this stunt again. I believe the ice cold shower they got from the garden hose left a lasting impression.
Oh, children. You make me laugh and give me gray hair all at the same time.
For years, my husband and I have talked about planting a garden together, and this year we finally tackled that project. And we’re those “go big or go home” kind of people. We tore out a huge section of our yard, planted lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, and I’m probably even forgetting some. At the end of this summer , we’re either going to be sadly disappointed at the barren plot of dirt in our yard or cooking, canning, freezing, and storing around the clock for awhile.
What have we gotten ourselves into?
We all helped plant the garden together… Jeremy and I, the boys, and even my mom was there helping. I knew it meant a lot to Jeremy, who was born and raised a farm kid, to show his family the ins and out of planting a seed. His method of “plant one seed every X amount of inches at X inch soil depth” was a little more precise then my method of “sprinkle, sprinkle”. I hope we are able to have a bountiful harvest, but no matter what the outcome, it was a great family memory. These photos make me smile every time I look at them.
“How strong ARE you, Dad?”
Psst! Check out these Garden Marker Signs and Garden Hose Holder tutorials!
We celebrated our anniversary on June 4th the same way any old, married couple would. We sat through a freezing cold baseball game for Alec (yes, it was FREEZING cold in Indiana the beginning of June!), then tried to go to a race at the local speedway here in town. I was bundled up like an arctic snow bunny and the stupid race was canceled due to rain earlier in the day. So we went to eat at a local Irish pub and feasted on fried mashed potato balls and BBQ bacon burgers. It was super romantic. But you know what? I wouldn’t have our life any other way.
Jeremy stopped me just before we got in the car, gave me a kiss, and said, “Even with all the crazy, I really love our life.”
I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.
So this summer has been an interesting one, to say the least. I work from home. My kids are out of school. And this year my husband quit his full-time job to start farming. Farmers work their tail feathers off in the spring and fall, and have the luxury of enjoying summers and winters off. Ya’ll, I have my WHOLE FAMILY home 24 flipping 7 this summer. It warms my heart and makes me want to cry all at the same time. Is that normal?
So far, we’ve been surviving summer by keeping extremely busy. We traveled every single weekend in June, and I’m sure the rest of the summer calendar will continue to fill up.
On the last day of school, we greeted my second grader coming off the bus with a bucket full of water balloons. #coolparents
On the second day of summer break, I printed off 120 sheets of math homework. Yeah, there goes my #coolparent status.
We visited my sister in Southern Illinois for a long weekend, and even though she put us through her workout bootcamp (8am weightlifting on Saturday and Sunday morning yoga), I still love her.
She wore me out. The boys wore each other out. Life was good.
Remember that one time I woke up at 4 am to get ready for my great aunt’s funeral, traveled 6 hours round-trip in one day, and almost missed the funeral because Wyatt puked ALL OVER my car? Yeah, not one of my favorite memories.
But we ended the month on a high note… I got to be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding! It was so much fun heading back to my hometown and catching up with old friends.
First it was a bachelorette party in Chicago…
…then a beautiful wedding for a couple who has endured death, cancer, a tornado, and so much more in their life together so far. Nothing makes a marriage stronger than surviving even the hardest times together, and I am so happy to see them finally celebrating a new chapter in their life! Congrats Breann and Ryan!
So let’s end this Little Bits of Love with a few of my favorites this month…
Favorite recipe: Peach Pie with Almond Crumble
Favorite song: “A Life That’s Good”
Favorite blogger: Homey Oh My
Now leave me a comment and tell me about YOUR month! Favorite memory, favorite thing you ate, anything! I hope you enjoy this new little series, and I’ll see you again next month! xoxo Liz
I’m a newcomer to your blog so really enjoyed this post and like the idea of a monthly update. A couple of food bloggers I follow have started this occasional chatty post idea and I love reading them.
I had a blog for several years. Since we retired four years ago, we have traveled extensively in our RV and spent lots of time with our grandkids in AZ so I posted lots of photos and stories about our adventures. My mom especially loved that means of staying in touch with our life. A year ago she passed away and even though friends and family have told me how much they miss reading it, I just can’t get inspired to keep it up.
About June: We spent eight months at our AZ home coming home to the Chicago area the middle of May. I spent much of June discovering all kinds of cool things in our forever home that we don’t remember we have when we’re gone so long. This house is like a museum of our lives together and I love coming back to it!
It’s so nice to meet you, Bev! I agree, writing a blog is a great way for friends and family to keep in touch, and it sounds like you had lots of fun memories with your grandkids to share! I’m so sorry to hear that your mom passed away. I can’t wait for the day my husband and I can travel to a warmer state for the winter and come back home to play in the nice weather. It sounds like your house is quite a treasure! Thanks for stopping by today, Bev!
Our little neighbor girl all grown up into a beautiful young woman! I loved this. Thanks for sharing
Some days I still feel like a little kid running around Shabbona with Scott! Glad you enjoyed the post, Cindy. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I love this, Liz. Thanks for sharing!!
Aww, thank you, Rachel! Hope you and your cute family had a wonderful 4th!
I love everything you do…you are a natural at storytelling and your photography is awesome…Thank you for sharing a piece of you and your awesome family. I’m still waiting for the “Love Grows Wild” reality show on HGTV. 🙂
You never know what the future will hold! Lol! Thank you so much for your sweet compliments… they mean a lot coming from you. Storytelling and photography have definitely been a challenge to learn, but I love exploring that creative part of my brain every day! Miss you guys!
I like this.
As much as I love your crafts and recipes, I love your personality and your story. I know you and I can relate in many ways with our lifestyle.
You must email me the name of this Irish pub you speak of.. my husband and I are always looking for new places to eat!
I had a bachelorette party in Chicago last weekend, too! Have you noticed spell checker doesn’t like the word, ‘bachelorette’? 🙂 I was ready to leave the city as soon as I got there but I had a lot of fun with my girls.
This month I have slowed down free lance work and blogging as I’ve been on a heavy job search. My husband took a position in ag equipment sales and I agreed if he made that move that I’d find something full time as a back-up. It’s a bittersweet move but I am excited for a set schedule. Being at home this last year has been a true blessing but it’s been a constant struggle as I’m sure you know! It’s hard to find that balance of ok, do I engage in housework, shop, socialize or you know, what I am suppose to be doing: work? 🙂 I report to my new job tomorrow and I am so nervous but excited. It will be a change of pace that’s for sure.
I look forward to this post every month. I hope you can keep up with it! 🙂
That’s crazy that you were partying it up in Chicago too! I agree, the city is fun, but it’s nice to be back home. That pub is called Cook McDoogal’s… amazing! Great food and a cozy atmosphere. We just loved it! We were so stuffed on fried mashed potato balls that we just about had to be rolled out the front door! I really need to get my idea of portion control in check. 🙂
Wow, what a change for you guys! I totally understand how bittersweet that must be. I wish you all the luck in the world at your new job, and I’m sure you’ll do great! Enjoy your more “normal” schedule, and I look forward to catching up with you again next month! Thank you for stopping by and chatting with me!
Good morning Liz. What a wonderful addition to your blog. Please leave me on your list. I so enjoy reading about you, Jeremy and the boys. I miss Williams family. Have a great summer and enjoy the boys. They will be grown before you know it. Love Sherry
Thank you, Sherry! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my post! We’re having a blast this summer with all of us being at home… some days a little more than others. 😉 Keep in touch!
Great post. Thanks for sharing with all of us.
You’re so very welcome, Shannon! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it!
Favorite Recipe: I have taken this recipe to all kinds of get-togethers this month and everyone always loves it. http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/creamy-grape-salad
Favorite Sport: Softball. I got to watch both my girls play all month long.
Favorite Memory: A much needed grown-up trip to Grand Lake OK.
Favorite Lesson Learned: My youngest daughter got a deep laceration on her face while playing with her sister (freak accident) which led to 21 stitches. And a forever scar on her precious little face. She keeps reminding me that “It doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” So here I am learning lessons from my daughter.
Ohh… that grape salad sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to pin it!
How scary for your little girl to have to get that many stitches… I can’t imagine watching her go through that! It sounds like she’s one very brave and tough little girl though, and what a beautiful outlook she has on life. We could all learn a few lessons from her! What a special little girl. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing with us, Sami!
Liz!!! What a nice surprise to see that I’m your fav blogger for the month! I’m so flattered, thank you!
You have such a beautiful family. I LOVE this new series idea. I think most people generally enjoy getting to see a glimpse inside the blogger behind the blog. I totally know how you feel about wanting to keep to the “good stuff”, but in my experience the response to the more personal everyday stuff has always been positive! Keep it up!
I can’t help but drool over all your photos lately! You have phenomenal style, girl. Keep up the good work!!
And thank you for your sweet comments on my post. It was wonderful getting to share pieces of my life, and I agree that readers really enjoy it! Thank you for the encouragement!
Loved it!! Really love the mud fight photos of your boys. I have a 6-year-old boy and I can completely relate. On his last day of school him and his friends found a mud hole, and decided to throw a tennis ball in it, over and over until they were all covered!! These will definitely be the times we look back on and cherish. 🙂
Can’t wait to here more, Liz! xoxo Erin @ DelightfulEMade
Haha, boys will be boys! Glad to hear I’m not the only momma with baskets full of mud-soaked laundry! I agree, these are moments we will look back on and cherish. I always tell my boys, “this is a story you’ll be really sick of me telling your girlfriends someday.” Lol! Thanks for stopping by to chat, Erin!
I love this ! You blogging ladies are such talented writers in addition to all your other talents. Totally delightful !
You are too kind, Marijean. Thank you so much! Storytelling has become a really fun part of writing my blog, and I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoy it! Glad you could stop by to chat!
Hearing about bloggers lives, seeing photos of their families is one of my favorite parts of reading blogs, makes me feel a part of your lives and what kind of person you are. You and your hubs share a lot of love and more to come. You two have the secret. Don’t ever lose that as someday your kids will be gone, it will just be two of you, need to be friends and keep that special love alive.
Our daughters two girls are gone to San Diego for couple weeks so her/hubs are alone. I asked her how they felt being alone and she said it’s weird but nice. Now she understands little more how it was when her/siblings left. When my hubs and I got married I had 3 young kids already so we didn’t have that while alone. By the time I was in middle 40’s all kids gone pretty much and we were alone, finally. It’s a good test as to how you’ll handle being together 24/7 when you’re old like hubs/I are. I’ll be 74 later this month and hubs will 73 in Oct. Yeah I’m a cradle robber.
Always be that loving person you are, it sustains you thru a great deal. Happy summer days. Love the photos of your boys in mud. My boys, 16 months apart were all boy also, they got many a cold hose shower in back yard in Tucson as little guys. They would be so dirty could hardly find their faces, but what fun they had.
Love your blog Liz, any part of it.
I can’t begin to tell you how much your sweet words mean to me, JaneEllen. Thank you so much! I know exactly what you mean about “alone time.” My oldest is actually a step-son, and he was two when I met my husband. We’ve never had a chance to be “just the two of us”, but it’s something we definitely look forward to in the future after we’ve finished raising our babies. If we can stay best friends and continue to laugh and lean on each other for support even through all the crazy times, I hope that will carry us through the rest of our lives.
I loved hearing your story, and congratulations on many happy years together! Even if you did rob the cradle. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by to chat with me!
What a fun new series! I look forward to reading them. I am so with you on the 24/7 all family all the time thing. We moved 6 months ago and my husband now works from home. And I have 3 boys to entertain all summer long. All 5 of us. In one house. All day. Every day. Sigh. 🙂 So this month we traveled from Washington to Colorado (12 days, 3075 miles, at least 45 hours drive time, 6 states, 2 family reunions, 500+ photos). I. am. tired. And so glad to be home. And out of the car. Time to sort photos and start scrapbooking! Congrats on the garden! I am just starting to harvest from ours and I love it! Isn’t it the best?!
Girl, I SO feel your pain! Are you counting down to “back to school” yet? And kudos to you for such an epic road trip! Little two-day weekend trips are about enough to drive me batty. Lol. Thanks so much for stopping by to chat with me!